Here’s some expert advice for would-be fathers: If possible, wait to have kids until you hit your mid-twenties. Becoming a parent sooner raises the chances of an early death, new research suggests.

After analyzing health records of more than 30,000 fathers from Finland, researchers determined that men who had their first child before age 22 were 26 percent more likely to die between the ages of 45 and 54 than men who waited until they were at least 25. The youngest fathers were about 50 percent more likely to die early than men who put off having kids until they were at least 30.

The pattern was clear: Men who fathered children at the youngest ages were more likely to die early, regardless of other factors like their marital status, education level, total number of children and region where they lived. Men who waited until they were at least 30 to have children were the most likely to survive past middle age.

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